Best Food

6 Unexpected foods that could have potential health benefits

6 Unexpected foods that could have potential health benefits

The world of nutrition and dietary science is ever-evolving, and researchers continue to uncover surprising connections between certain foods and their potential health benefits. While it’s important to approach these findings with caution and consider individual dietary needs.

Here are a 6 examples of foods that have intrigued experts for their potential health benefits.

01. Beer

Recent research conducted at Dalian Medical University in China has revealed that the bacteria found in beer may have a positive impact on your gut’s microbiome. While the prevailing medical consensus regarding alcohol consumption suggests that no amount is entirely safe for overall health, these recent findings also indicate that anti-inflammatory polyphenols, which are compounds present in plant-based foods, could potentially combat conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.

It’s essential to emphasize that the observed health benefits of beer on gut health are applicable primarily to moderate drinkers. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of severe health issues, including heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and various forms of cancer.

Nonetheless, these discoveries may open the door to the potential use of ‘beer bioactives’ for their health-promoting properties in the future, according to the scientists involved in the research.

02. Popcorn

While popcorn is often considered a go-to snack for movie nights, its wholegrain nature places it in a category deserving of more recognition. Apart from its significant fiber content, which has associated health benefits with reduced risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, popcorn boasts a rich array of vitamins, essential nutrients, and antioxidant phenolic acids.

Despite its prior classification as a junk food, if prepared thoughtfully, popcorn can actually have health benefits. This entails crafting it from scratch and exercising restraint with the use of oil or butter. Opting for high-quality Himalayan or sea salt can even provide additional nutrients and essential electrolytes.

03. Potatoes

Potatoes often face criticism due to their high starchy carbohydrate content, which can lead to rapid digestion and subsequent spikes in blood sugar levels, potentially causing stress and fatigue. Nevertheless, there’s a straightforward trick: allowing your potatoes to cool before consumption can transform a significant portion of these carbohydrates into both slowly digestible and resistant starch.

These forms of starch remain stable even upon reheating, and the latter type acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Consider cooking your potatoes during lunch, allowing them to cool, and then reheating them for your evening meal as an effective strategy.

04. Dairy milk

Plant-based alternatives have gained immense popularity, but it’s important to be aware that some of them may lack a crucial dietary mineral: iodine. Iodine plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy thyroid, and its significance is heightened during pregnancy and breastfeeding for the optimal development of the baby’s brain.

Fortunately, cow’s milk is a rich source of iodine, with a 200ml serving containing as much as two-thirds of the recommended daily intake for adults. Additional sources of iodine include white fish and seaweed, but if these are excluded from your diet, along with milk, it’s easy to develop an iodine deficiency. This deficiency can lead to an underactive thyroid, resulting in symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, and cognitive fog.

05. Chocolate

There’s a common concern among individuals that indulging in chocolate might compromise their healthy eating habits or lead to weight gain. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s advisable to opt for chocolate that doesn’t contain palm oil and has a low sugar content.

Dark chocolate, in particular, holds health benefits as it tends to be richer in flavonoids. These flavonoids are effective in counteracting harmful toxins and have the potential to combat cancer and inflammation. If the bitterness of dark chocolate doesn’t align with your sweet preferences, a recommended approach is to pair it with natural sweeteners like raisins or luscious dates.

06. Pizza

Absolutely, it’s true! Pizza can bring health benefits, provided you prepare it yourself from scratch. You could take the comprehensive approach and craft your very own sourdough pizza crust. The fermentation involved in this process partially breaks down the flour, rendering it more gut-friendly and reducing the likelihood of abrupt blood sugar spikes.

If you opt for a more traditional dough, it’s advisable to include some unrefined flour in your blend. Additionally, choose toppings that are less processed, such as fresh mozzarella and vegetables, will bring more health benefits. Homemade pizzas offer an excellent opportunity to introduce vegetables into the diets of children who may be hesitant to consume them.